1. Level Beer
5211 NE 148th Ave., 503-714-1222, levelbeer.com.
Sometimes the perfect afternoon means hunkering down with a book and a beer in the corner of a quiet bar. When such a mood strikes, stay far away from Level. But if you're looking for a scene more like perpetual summer camp—where the squeals of children are the predominant soundtrack—then head to this 2-acre plot in the industrial hinterlands of Northeast Portland and find a spot on its massive patio, which is actually a converted greenhouse. Level's founders also have children, which pushed them to produce beers with an alcohol content that won't leave your head spinning, like the crisp, 4.5% ABV Grisetta Stone, whose flavors bob between citrus and black pepper.
959 SE Division St., No. 100, 971-266-8276, barpalomar.com. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Saturday. By reservation only.
A reflection of owner Ricky Gomez's Cuban American heritage and his hometown of New Orleans, Palomar doesn't look like many other Portland bars, nor does it taste like one. The interior could be a set piece from HBO's Ballers, and the drink menu is just as colorful, full of piña coladas, daiquiris and all things slushy and beachy—plus Cuban diner staples like bistec ($16), lechon asado ($14) and a Cubana sandwich ($10) topped with matchstick fries. In other words, it was already a great summer bar, and now that it's moved operations to its roof deck overlooking Division Street, it might just be perfect. Well, nearly perfect—reservations are required in order to maintain social distancing. But once you get a spot up there, it'll be hard to leave.
832 N Beech St., 971-703-4516, and 8409 N Lombard St., 971-255-1481, 8409 N Lombard St., 971-255-1481, stormbreakerbrewing.com. Noon-10 pm daily.
StormBreaker is familiar with the Portland brewing circle of life. In 2014, founders Rob Lutz and Dan Malech set up shop in the former home of Amnesia Brewing, changing up the food menu and, of course, the beer program while maintaining the property's best feature: the large patio facing North Mississippi Avenue. Then, two years ago, Lutz and Malech expanded north, moving into the space once occupied by Plew's Brews and a neighboring dentist office, adding ax-throwing lanes and a magnificent mural of the St. Johns Bridge, while once again keeping the attractive patio intact. Name a style and StormBreaker makes a damn fine version of it, from its citrusy Cloud Ripper IPA to the Opacus Stout, which has all the hints of chocolate you want without going down like a pint of Ovaltine.
4. Shine Distillery & Grill
4232 N Williams Ave., 503-384-2585, shinedistillerygrill.com. 3-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 3-10 pm Friday-Saturday.
It was probably only a matter of time before Williams Avenue got a shiny new two-story bar that looks teleported from the Pearl. While most distilleries are boutique affairs relegated to minimal storefronts or corners of industrial spaces, the menu and ambience at Shine gives brewpubs like Breakside and 10 Barrel a run for their money. The focus is on liquor, and the bar churns out some fantastic cocktails. Owner Jon Poteet spent quarantine bottling hand cleaner made from his distillery's high-proof byproduct, and now that Multnomah County has reopened, he's making the bar's roof deck available for safe drinking under the summer sun.
716 NW 21st Ave., 503-384-2219, randrpdx.com. 3-10 pm daily.
Overhauled from a Belgian bar into a faux-beachside resort, R&R borrows elements from your Hawaiian vacation Pinterest board—palm fronds, piña coladas, poke—and brings them to life. That even includes an LED sunset repeats every few minutes. Of course, if you're drinking here now, you'll probably opt to be outside, in the actual sunshine. Thankfully, the drinks are as transportive as the décor, with cocktails swimming in citrus and rum. The dark molasses and fresh lime in the mai tai might almost have you convinced you've ducked into a poolside cabana.